Philadelphia 76ers Odds
Odds to win NBA Championship: +2700
Odds to win Eastern Conference: +900
Philadelphia 76ers Season Recap
The 76ers had gotten out to a 39-26 record this year before the NBA season was abruptly stopped. They currently sit as the #6 seed, although they have the same record as the #5 seed Indiana Pacers. The Sixers have already clinched a playoff spot and don’t have any risk of falling past the #6 seed as the #7 seed, the Nets, are 8.5 games behind Philly. The 76ers would currently play the Boston Celtics if the playoffs started today.
The Sixers have a bigger differential between their play at home and on the road in the NBA this year. They have the best home record in the NBA at 29-2 and rank second at home in net rating at +10.3 points per 100 possessions. On the road, though, the Sixers’ record is just 10-24 with a -5.4 net rating. Unfortunately for the team, they won’t be able to play any games in Philly as the entire NBA restart will take place at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Sixers players won’t have to deal with any tough atmospheres with no fans at the games, but they won’t have the benefit of playing in friendly confines either.
The 76ers came painfully close to the Eastern Conference Finals last season as Kawhi’s absurd all-time buzzer-beater knocked them off in the 4th quarter of Game 7. Of course, that Philly team was drastically different than this one – Jimmy Butler has been replaced in the starting lineup by Josh Richardson. J.J. Redick, a starter last season, is no longer with the team and Philly takes on a different shape with Al Horford joining the starting lineup to give them even more size and physicality.
Philadelphia 76ers Depth Chart
PG: Ben Simmons, Shake Milton, Raul Neto, Marial Shayok
SG: Josh Richardson, Alec Burks, Zhaire Smith, Ryan Broekoff
SF: Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz
PF: Al Horford, Mike Scott, Glenn Robinson
C: Joel Embiid, Kyle O’Quinn, Norvel Pelle
Head Coach: Brett Brown
Philadelphia 76ers Statistical Leaders
Points per game: Joel Embiid (23.4), Tobias Harris (19.4), Ben Simmons (16.7)
Rebounds per game: Joel Embiid (11.8), Ben Simmons (7.8), Al Horford (6.9)
Assists per game: Ben Simmons (8.2), Al Horford (4.1), Tobias Harris (3.2)
Steals per game: Ben Simmons (2.1), Mattisse Thybulle (1.4), Al Horford (0.9)
Blocks per game: Joel Embiid (1.3), Norvel Pelle (1.3), Al Horford (0.9)
3PT% (minimum 3 attempts per game): Shake Milton (45.3%), Furkan Korkmaz (39.7%), Tobias Harris (36.2%)
Ben Simmons is a dark horse for Defensive Player of the Year, and while steals aren’t always the best measure of defensive impact, his 2.1 steals per game are certainly impressive. Joel Embiid is an awesome defensive force alongside him and his 23.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game are some of the best numbers among all centers in the NBA this season. Simmons isn’t quite the scorer Embiid is, but he’s one of the best playmakers in the NBA – he ranks 5th in assists per game among all players. Tobias Harris has lived up to his massive contract extension over the offseason as the team sacrificed some depth to give him a max contract. Despite the lofty salary, he’s still one of the more underrated two-way players in the NBA. Al Horford has made a solid contribution as a free agency add and Mattise Thybulle has been impressive as a rookie.
Philadelphia 76ers Best 5-Man Lineups
* Minimum 40 total minutes played together, excluding all lineups with James Ennis (now on the Orlando Magic)
- Ben Simmons, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, Al Horford: minutes = 40; net rating = +17.0
- Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Joel Embiid: minutes = 244; net rating = +8.5
- Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Furkan Korkmaz, Tobias Harris, Al Horford: minutes = 75; net rating = +7.5
- Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, Al Horford: minutes = 53; net rating = +7.2
- Raul Neto, Josh Richardson, Furkan Korkmaz, Mike Scott, Joel Embiid: minutes = 41; net rating = +4.4
- Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, Al Horford: minutes = 118; net rating = +3.0
- Ben Simmons, Furkan Korkmaz, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Joel Embiid: minutes = 82; net rating = +2.8
- Ben Simmons, Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, Al Horford: minutes = 156; net rating = -0.9
- Ben Simmons, Shake Milton, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Joel Embiid: minutes = 56; net rating = -24.8
At first glance, Joel Embiid’s absence from the 76ers’ top lineups this season may seem like a major point in favor of Ben Simmons being the team’s best player this season. However, Embiid has only played in 44 games this season compared to 54 for Simmons and Embiid has seen 30.2 minutes per game compared to 35.7 minutes per game for Simmons. That’s no knock on the Sixers’ point guard though as Simmons has been an incredibly productive presence on both ends of the floor this season. He finds himself in all four of the Sixers’ top lineups this season.
The Sixers’ most-used lineup this season, their starting lineup, ranks second on the team in net rating at +8.5 points per 100 possessions. The Philly bench was subpar last season, putting forth the fourth-fewest bench points in the NBA. This season, they’ve only slightly improved to the fifth-fewest bench points, but players like Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, Mike Scott, Alec Burks, and Trey Burke have all made a solid contribution off the bench. It’s also worth noting that the Sixers have suffered several injuries to their starters this season, so we haven’t seen their bench performing at full capacity.
Along with Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Al Horford find themselves in the Sixers’ top four lineups in net rating this season. The four-man group of Simmons, Harris, Horford, and Simmons presents a ton of matchup problems as all of them stand taller than 6’8″ and can contribute on both ends of the floor in a variety of ways.
Philadelphia 76ers Strengths and Weaknesses
The Sixers haven’t been all that impressive this season, as far as advanced metrics go. As I mentioned before, the discrepancy between their home and road numbers is incredibly vast. Overall, though, they only rank 12th in net rating, with a shockingly bad 18th in offensive rating, scoring just 109.7 points per 100 possessions. The Sixers’ biggest strength this season has been with rebounding, which is to be expected for a team with a massive starting lineup. Philly ranks 3rd in defensive rebounding percentage and 10th in offensive rebounding percentage, good for the 3rd-best rebounding percentage overall as they pull down 51.5% of loose balls.
Philly’s high-level rebounding has allowed them to be very good on the defensive end, as they allow the 3rd-fewest second-chance points. Their defensive rating of 107.6 points allowed per 100 possessions ranks them 6th in the NBA. However, other metrics paint them as more of a middle-of-the-pack defense. The Sixers rank outside of the top ten teams in field goal percentage allowed from 2-point and 3-point range. Ben Simmons is a dark horse contender for Defensive Player of the Year, though, and should make one of the two All-Defense teams. He’s a force on that end of the floor – he has the third-most deflections per game and the most defensive loose balls recovered.
The Sixers do have a ton of room for improvement on the offensive side of the floor. The Sixers rank middle-of-the-pack in field goal percentage from both 2-point and 3-point range. They don’t really get to the free-throw line enough to make up for that inefficiency, either, ranking just 21st in free throw rate. The Sixers also average the 5th-fewest clutch points per game, which suggests that their offense doesn’t improve when it matters most. These are highly concerning details for a team looking to compete for a title this season.
Philadelphia 76ers Predictions
It’s really hard to know what to expect from the 76ers during the upcoming postseason. The team has been ravaged by injuries this year, but Ben Simmons (back) and Joel Embiid (shoulder) are expected to be ready to roll for the playoffs. The team has struggled to gain offensive consistency this season, particularly on the road, but their high-level defensive ability should serve them well early on in the NBA’s restart as shooting-reliant teams may need some time to get into a rhythm.
If the playoffs started today, the Sixers would be slated with a first-round matchup against the Boston Celtics. Their size could prove difficult to compete with for a Celtics team that often plays smaller, but the wing trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward may be too much offense for the Sixers to handle. The matchups would be fascinating in that series, and it would likely go the distance to seven games.
The Sixers seemingly built their size-oriented lineup to compete specifically with the Milwaukee Bucks, but I’m not confident they’ll have the opportunity to prove they can knock off the #1 seed. Philly will likely be vulnerable in a first-round matchup against any of the Celtics, Heat, or Pacers due to their lack of offensive production. While the team’s size puts them in a unique position to dominate in the paint against most teams, I don’t see it all coming together for the Sixers this season, particularly under the direction of Brett Brown who I don’t really trust. The Sixers went all-in on contending this season, but I see them bowing out early on in the playoffs.
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